The BBC is reporting that an academies trust led by a former government adviser has been told too many of its schools are underperforming and not improving fast enough…
Ofsted visited six Schools Partnership Trust (SPTA) academies as part of routine inspections and found five were not offering good quality education.
One school was downgraded to an “inadequate” rating by Ofsted.
SPTA accepted improvement was needed but said there was “ample evidence” it was “an effective” academy sponsor.
The judgements are significant because putting poor performing schools under the leadership of non-profit-making academy trusts or sponsors is the government’s key engine of school improvement.
Sir Paul Edwards, chief executive of SPTA – which runs 44 schools in the Yorkshire and Humber area, has also worked as a government adviser in the Department for Education’s academy and free school programme.
England’s education inspectorate is not allowed to inspect academy chains in the same way as it inspects local education authorities.
Ofsted inspected the six schools over a 10-day period in June and sought further information on how SPTA has been performing on school improvement.
It said concerns had been raised about how well it was performing.
Four of the academies still required improvement, Ofsted said, although two of these had begun to improve.
One academy remained inadequate, but a sixth had improved to “good” from its previous rating of “satisfactory”.
The inspections also highlighted key weaknesses in the schools, such as inconsistent teaching that does not challenge pupils enough and low standards at the end of primary school. This meant too many pupils had been ill-prepared for secondary schools, Ofsted said.
It also said governors lacked expertise to challenge senior leaders on teaching quality.
But inspectors added that most of the principals it contacted felt they were well supported by trust officers and that SPTA human resource departments had assisted in managing under-performing staff…
SPTA is the third chain to be criticised by Ofsted, with critical letters recently sent to both the Kemnal Academies Trust (TKAT) and the E-ACT Trust – one of England’s biggest academy organisations…
Your reaction on this latest ‘must do better’ notice to an academy chain? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…
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